Canals have been identified to be vital for the growth of any economy. Their ability to connect countries and states has been observed as an opportunity for economic growth. This has led to the spending of vast amounts of money to improve the standards of canals. This is done because it has come to the attention of all countries that, with channels, the economic prowess of a country can grow and become stronger. Due to this notion, countries like Panama and the United States have invested a lot in building canals and ports to strengthen their economies. Through such investments, employment opportunities are created, and as a result, people get employed. Development of waterways has contributed significantly towards the strengthening of inter-state relationships. This has led to the creation of an enabling business environment. These relationships have led to the promotion of exports and imports business. Hence, countries can get what they do not produce for consumption. Therefore, to understand the importance of canals in an economy, there is need to research on the impact of the extension of the Panama Canal in the navigation system in the region and the local economy.
Some of the research questions attached to this research topic include the following: How does the extension affect the environment? What are the gains of the expansion towards the shipping economy? Does the extension strengthen local economy? Does the extension affect local businesses? Does the extension attract foreign investors? What is the impact of the expansion on tourism? Therefore, the importance of studying this topic involves knowing and understanding how canals work and their implications to the economy.
I will use both qualitative and quantitative methods in this research. For instance, the qualitative way will help in getting the underlying opinions and ideas about the impact of the extension of the Panama Canal in the navigation system in the region and the economy. This will set the foundation of the quantitative method. This method will help in creating some data that will be used for statistical purposes. These methods will be appropriate for my purpose as they will provide sufficient information. The information will be used to draw some conclusions about the impacts of the Panama extension in the navigation system and the economy.
In any research, one develops an interest in studying the whole population. Contrary to this interest, it is not possible to achieve that. Therefore, one settles on the sample whenever any study concerning the population is conducted. Hence, a sample is a small part drawn from the population. In many cases, a sample of not less than thirty and not above five hundred units from the population has been preferred while conducting most researches. Therefore when I will be collecting data using the qualitative method, I will use the questionnaire survey technique. At this juncture, two hundred questionnaires will be designed for those who own businesses next to the Panama Canal.
There will be the use of interview technique as well. This technique will involve a different sample size of different people. For instance, it will include people employed at Panama Canal strictly. It will also include the skilled and unskilled individuals that work within the environs of the Canal. This will be aimed at obtaining unbiased data.
In this research, I plan to use both quantitative survey and qualitative interview. The quantitative study will be useful as it will play the role of quantifying the problem. As a result, it will lead to a generation of numerical data that will be used for statistical purposes. This survey will involve a large sample size from the population. This method is known to be tedious, but it helps in yielding the expected results despite the limitations that it is prone to. To get feedback regarding the research topic, some techniques will be employed under this method of survey. For instance, there will be the use of face to face interview, telephone interview, mobile surveys, paper surveys, and online surveys to mention a few.
The qualitative interview will be used as well. This is due to its ability to generate some underlying facts about the extension of the Panama Canal. Those facts will help in establishing the foundation of conducting quantitative research. For its primary purpose to be achieved, some methods will be used to collect data as well. For instance, there will be the use of focus groups. These groups will give opinions on the economy regarding the extension of the Panama Canal. Their views will help in understanding the impact of extending the canal. There will be some interviews that are individually based. In this method, a small sample of the population is involved, and the selection of individuals for some quotas will be used.
These techniques will meet my purpose. They will be useful in the process of data collection. They will be developed through the creation of relevant topic questions.
The analytical approach that I plan to use is quantitative analysis. Since the research will be quantitative, the information that will be gathered will be quantitative as well. This is because the Panama Canal extension will involve other countries like Asia. To understand how there will be a connection between Panama and Asia, numerical information will be included. This information will be varying hence making it be in the form of variables.
It should be noted that these variables will be measuring some characteristics with the ability to possess two values and above. In this research topic, most components are numeric. For instance, when looking at the cost the construction the extension process will take, the number of wider ships that the canal will manage to accommodate, the impact of the extension to Panama economy and the effect of the canal on trade.
Ethical issues must accompany the sample and data collection approaches. For instance, it is my responsibility to know that it is unethical for the respondent to commence giving feedback without his or her consent. Therefore I should take time to make the respondent understand what I need from him or her before the exercise begins. It should also be known that the respondent has the right to choose either to give feedback or decline. Privacy is another ethical issue that I should adhere to. All the information received from the respondent should be kept private and confidential. It should not leak to the third party as that will be unethical. The respondent must be protected from harm at all costs. Therefore I should ensure that the environment is safe when collecting data.
As I trust my approach to give the expected results, it is prone to some limitations as it can be discussed. To begin with, both the qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting data have some limitations. For instance, when using focus groups to collect data, the data may turn out to be biased as the collective opinion may be reached through influence. On the other hand, the process of questionnaire survey may be tedious and tiresome. Both the respondent and I as the interviewer may get tired and as a result, this may lead to the provision of unreliable information that can lead to misleading. Another challenge is experienced when conducting a face to face interview. During this period, as the interviewer, I might find myself changing the validity of the questions that are in the questionnaire. If this happens, it means the data collected will not be useful. It also fails to make sense when conducting a telephone interview. This is because not all people might be having phones hence making the process questionable.
Some limitations are attached to ethical issues. For instance, it needs patience for one to convince the respondent. This implies that getting the audience of the respondent is not easy; hence it requires one to be persuasive to excel at this stage. Sometimes ensuring privacy is a problem as one can get access to the paper surveys. If this happens, then the data ceases to be private. Therefore if the respondent receives the consent of that act, he or she can be hurt because that is unethical. Finally, it is difficult to assure the full respondent security as harm can arise anytime.